What a week for the New York Yankees. Lots of news, which was dominated by Alex Rodriguez and his possible connection to PEDs. The MLB is investigating the matter and we might not know any concrete evidence for quite some time. Suffice it to say, you’re either sick of A-Rod’s drama or you’re willing to see him through it. Follow me after the break as we cover some of the top stories around YGY this week.
As stated before, A-Rod and his potential PEDs usage was the lead topic this week. Our own Joe F. opined about the the slugger and morals, writing:
Now is the perfect excuse and opportunity to get rid of Rodriguez. He’s becoming a distraction to the team and isn’t producing like he once did. I don’t think I need to bring up the numbers to show his rapid decline in power over the last few seasons. With the eye test we should all be aware.
Our Benjamin Orr seconded that notion, in his first part of a two-part series concerning A-Rod:
At this point, whether or not this story plays out to be true forms a null point. Rodriguez is done as a player, at least in New York he is. There is absolutely no way this man can show his face in Yankee Stadium without A) being booed worse than the Boston Red Sox and B) probably have some sort of trash thrown at him. Rodriguez did the one thing a baseball player should never do, specifically with the Yankees, and that was lie to the fans and the team.
Not all the headlines were reserved for A-Rod though, Alex Pugliese gave her predictions on who will make the Yankees opening day roster in a two part series (here and here). In the first part of the series, she predicted the Yankees will go with Ivan Nova over David Phelps in the starting rotation.
Ultimately, I think the Yankees go with Nova (though, personally, I would prefer Phelps). Nova’s 2012 season was confounding, and yet, despite that, he continued to find ways to win. After averaging 14 wins in his first two seasons as a starter, and a strong-first half (3.92 ERA, 10-3), Nova seems to have a slightly higher upside. That said, for as fantastic as he was in 2011 and the first half of 2012, he was that dreadful in the second-half (2-5, 7.05 ERA). Phelps’ sample size as a starter is pretty small, with only 11 starts, but going 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA.
Meanwhile, Hunter Farman gave us all something to think about in his story about switch-pitcher Pat Venditte and his road to the Major Leagues. Could he make it this year?
Luckily — as I mentioned before — Venditte has had success on all minor league levels. He has a career line of 14-12 with a 2.30 ERA in the minors. He does not give up many home runs, and does strike out a lot of batters. I had the opportunity to see him pitch in Trenton a few years ago, and he definitely has some excellent control on his pitches. One thing that can be worrisome is the amount of hits that he gives up. As it stands now, he gives up around a hit per inning. Obviously he would need to work on that if he wants to be called up at some point.
Finally, we come down to the DH position. Ben gave us some options with his piece on who the Yankees should look at:
Needless to say, Hafner can still crush the ball. He’s a left-handed hitter too, which while this line-up has a decent amount, couldn’t hurt to have. The one down side to Hafner is his salary of $13 million that he made in 2012. If the Yankees were to only go for a one-year deal, then sure, by all means try and go after him. If not, then perhaps Hafner will never be a Yankee, but he’s probably the best option out there now.
Matt Hunter then wrote a more in-depth piece on Travis Hafner and what he could specifically bring to the Yankees in 2013:
In addition to his strong performance against righties, Hafner fits Yankees Stadium perfectly because of his power to right field. Last year, Hafter had a .679 slugging percentage and .410 isolated power to right field, the latter of which is on par with his career ISO to that side of the field. With the short porch in right, Hafner should get a few more flyballs/popups to catch the magical Yankee Stadium fairie wind and fly over the wall.
Lastly, I outlined Yankees pitching prospect,Manny Banuelos‘ and his rise to the show in our Prospects Outlook series:
Man-Ban features a fastball that touches 96 mph, but regularly stays in the 91-93 mph range. His fastball also has tailing action on it, which he can steer away from lefties and drive it right into the fists of righties. His choice of secondary pitches is what will likely keep him in the majors for a long time. He has a plus curveball with sharp break, while having a changeup that dips considerably.
Other stories you might have missed:
- Joe’s article on how Nick Johnson changed the game changed the game
- Matt Hunter’s explanation of DIPS Theory and FIP as part of our Stats Glossary series
Hope everyone has a safe night watching the Super Bowl. I think the World Series is a much better test for teams, but if you’re into the barbaric sport of football, enjoy yourselves. Before the festivities start, be sure to check Hunter Farmar’s story on ranking the Yankees offseason moves later today on YGY!